Mikaela Mayer Positive for Covid-19
By Felipe Leon
Female boxing has suffered a major setback. Undefeated lightweight Mikaela Mayer (12-0, 5KO) announced just days before her scheduled semi-main event bout against Helen Joseph (17-4-2, 10KO) this upcoming Tuesday, June 9th, that she has tested positive for Covid-19.
In a statement posted on her social media on the morning of Sunday, June 7th, Mayer stated, “I am heartbroken to report that I will no longer be fighting on Tuesday’s Top Rank card due to a positive result in my Covid-19 test yesterday.”
She also shared she is asymptomatic and quarantining per the recommended guidelines. In addition the statement revealed the rest of her team, including 76-year-old trainer Al Mitchell, have tested negative for the virus.
When Top Rank released in early May they will be returning to present boxing events behind closed doors in June in a recently reopened Las Vegas, Nevada, Mayer was one of the featured fighters they mentioned would be one of the first to get action.
The 10-round fight was to be televised by ESPN.
Mayer was first scheduled to face veteran Melissa “Huracan” Hernandez in mid-May in New York City but the plug was pulled from that ESPN-broadcast event the day of because due to current pandemic.
The 29-year-old former Olympian never stopped training and after back-to-back camps, Mayer found herself in Las Vegas by late last week following the Nevada State Athletic Commission’s protocol for the return of professional boxing in a live setting including multiple testing of all participants.
Mayer, the first woman signed by Top Rank, was a highly touted amateur before going professional in the summer of 2017. In her 12-bout career she has steadily climbed up the ranks with wins over respectable opponents Nydia Feliciano, Edina Kiss, Calista Salgado, Yareli Larios and Lizbeth Crespo among others. In her last fight, a sixth round TKO over Alejandra Zamora, Mayer defended the NABF 130-pound regional title for the third time. She captured the vacant title back in October of 2018 with a unanimous decision over Vanessa Bradford.
Ranked #1 by the WBC, Mayer has stated she would like a world title opportunity in 2020. A win over veteran Helen Joseph, 31, would be a step in that direction.
Despite campaigning for most of her career in lower weight classes, many experts believed Joseph, a former two-time world title challenger, would have been Mayer’s first true test of her career.
“I will just have to take a quick break but I will be in the ring soon,” Mayer stated in closing. “Boxing is back and I’ll be back.”
The rest of the card with current WBO featherweight champion Shakur Stevenson in the main event as of now is scheduled to go on as planned. A second fight card two days later on June 11 is also going forward.